5 Tips on Creating the Perfect Meeting Agenda

by Allison Doyle, CCM

Leading a meeting without a good agenda can be like driving in a car with a flat tire. You might eventually get where you’re going, but it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Setting an outline up before the meeting will ensure your objectives are met and your messaging is relayed effectively. Here are 5 tips on creating the perfect meeting agenda.

1. Get the word out and the topics in

Before you get going, you’ll want to send an email to everyone who may be attending. Ask that they either accept or decline the invite. In that initial email, you’ll also want to ask if anyone has topics they wish to discuss in the meeting, and if so that they send the topics to you at least two days in advance.

2. What is your objective?

Once you receive any requested topics, gather them together with the topics you want to cover and determine the overall objective for the meeting. If someone were to ask why you’re having this meeting, you should be able to explain your objective in one to two sentences. If it’s longer than that, you don’t yet have a clear objective.

3. Prioritize your topics

Narrow your topics down to no more than five total. Any more than that and your meeting will probably go too long and your attendees will lose sight of your objective. After you have your five topics, organize them in order of importance, most to least. That way, if you run out of time, you will have at least covered the most pressing issues.

4. How long will your meeting be?

Next, decide how much time to allot for each topic. Too often, people get into the habit of generically scheduling a meeting for thirty minutes and then trying to fit all their topics into this time period. This could lead you to taking a meeting that should have been fifteen minutes and trying to stretch it out to a half-an-hour, or trying to cram a forty-five minute meeting into a thirty-minute block. Instead, decide how much time you’ll actually need to spend on each topic and then figure out how long your meeting should be.

5. Include the extra details and schedule the meeting

Make sure your agenda includes any extra details like, who’s taking the meeting minutes, any documents that should be read by your attendees prior to the meeting, and so forth.

Finally, schedule the meeting for an optimal time for everyone. Keep in mind, the best times for scheduling a meeting – as long as everyone’s schedules allow – are at 9am and 3pm. This ensures your meeting is either before everyone’s main work begins for the day, or once they have recovered from their post-lunch daze.

Keep these tips in mind and your agenda should allow for a successful and productive meeting. If you’re looking for more advice like this, check out the other blogs on www.countryclubmeetings.com, or connect with one of our meeting planning experts today!